The Emoov brand endured a rollercoaster ride from its creation in 2010 by Russell Quirk to its demise last year when the company behind it went into administration.
Those left high and dry by the company’s implosion, including thousands of vendors and hundreds of investors and suppliers, assumed that was that.
Approximately £400,000 of the £15 million ploughed into the original Emoov was recovered by the liquidators, but surprisingly, approximately half of that was paid by proptech start-up Mashroom, which bought the brand and the technology from the administrators.
Hybrid and traditional agents need to offer added value products such as conveyancing and mortgage advisory; both services that we offer, above and beyond our basic package.
Many people in the industry considered its decision to resurrect the brand along similar lines – albeit with a new ethos, business plan and logo – to be borderline insanity.
So, as other online/hybrid estate agents close and others announce cutbacks, how can Emoov rise from the ashes and take on Purplebricks?
How will you develop Emoov – with additional funding? Do you plan to grow organically or go for a cash-burn quick growth approach?
“We plan on growing the brand sustainably, a cash-burn quick growth approach is not what we plan. Having said that, we’re not looking for any additional funding as the business is currently self-sustainable.”
You don’t offer rentals – is that the long-term plan… to concentrate on sales?
“Yes, it is. Emoov was bought out of administration by Mashroom, an online property platform that makes renting easier by putting incoming and departing tenants in direct contact. This rewards tenants for conducting viewings with suitable tenants and saves landlords from void periods. Mashroom will launch later this summer; and we’re planning on keeping the two platforms separate and then to fuse the two platforms in the future.”
Do you have in-house sales progression?
“Emoov directly employs agents who ensure that sales progression happens in a timely manner and manage any issues that buyers or sellers face though the conveyancing process, including down valuations.”
Will you monetise customers above or beyond your £895 flat fee?
“To adapt to a changing market and offer savvy customers the best service, hybrid and traditional estate agents will need to continue offering consumers added value products such as conveyancing and mortgage advisory; both services that we can offer, above and beyond our basic package.”
How many homes have you sold or SSTC since relaunching?
“We currently have 72 properties that are SSTC or completed properties since we re-opened Emoov.”
Does Emoov have a realistic chance of catching up with Purplebricks? What’s the vision?
“We like to think so. We have a sustainable business model, growing our customer base is at the heart of that. As in any marketplace, competition is healthy, we look forward to seeing the brand continue to grow.”
What made Mashroom buy the tech and platform– did you plan to be a national agency with a hybrid model?
“We believe that hybrid agents like Emoov and Purplebricks can and will thrive alongside high-street estate agents. The key is to have a sustainable business model that avoids spiralling customer acquisition costs.
We believe hybrid agents like Emoov and Purplebricks can and will thrive alongside high street agents. _ e key is a sustainable model that avoids spiralling customer acquisition costs.
“Mashroom purchased Emoov to save the brand from administration and support the rollout of Mashroom, our property platform founded by proptech entrepreneur Stepan Dobrovolskiy.
“Mashroom is a lettings community platform that connects incoming and departing tenants directly, benefiting the people living in the property and landlords.”
Do you agree with Purplebricks and others that there is still an opportunity for hybrids to take 10-20% of the market?
Yes, we do. Home sellers are very intelligent and there’s a whole tech-savvy generation looking to save on the expense of selling their home, comfortable with the hybrid estate agent model. There will always be customers who prefer the traditional model offered by a high-street estate agent. We believe both models can operate in harmony.
Are you planning to hire more talent?
“We’ll continue to expand the team to meet the needs of our customers. At present, we have a strong leadership team driving the business forward.”
Has the failure of the original Emoov presented problems now you’ve relaunched?
“As always, when one company buys another out of administration there are things that need to be addressed. The first thing we did was to launch a campaign that encouraged any previous customers who had lost out to get in touch so that we could offer them a complimentary property listing through the site. We’ve undergone a rebrand that soft-launched in January to ensure Emoov is aligned with our views.”
Have you changed the look of Emoov?
“The Emoov rebrand soft-launched in January with a brand-new logo. We removed some of the previous Emoov marketing materials and we continue making changes to our technology to enhance our customers’ experience. We’re making a few more final amends behind the scenes and will reveal full details in due course.